1965 Crossroads Nova

I’ve owned this 1965 400 Series Nova since the mid-90’s. At that time it had old dead brick red paint, and every time you washed it, it had less red paint. The 65 has gone through several drivetrain, and suspension upgrades/modifications. It was very reliable, and fun to drive, and over the years I put thousands of miles on it. Although I appreciate all forms of racing, I had always leaned towards drag racing. My cars leaned towards a street/strip type car, low stance with skinnies up front, and as wide a tire as I could fit under the back, and the 65 was no exception. The Nova got a major redo over the winter of 2002/2003. The car was stripped down to a shell, and then with the help of a good body & paint friend, all the body work was done, and it got a nice red exterior, and charcoal interior paint job applied. The drivetrain was freshened up, upgraded stereo system, and new black cloth interior installed. The car has racked up thousands of miles since then.

Fast forward to 2015 the 1965 Nova, and my business had reached a Crossroads (hence the project name). The pro-touring craze had really taken hold, and my interests had moved from drag racing to autocross, and road course type events. We were doing more and more suspension & brake upgrades for our customers. I was always impressed when I’d complete a customer’s car or truck, and take it out for a test drive. I decided it was time for the red Nova to evolve and reflect the majority of the work we were doing, along with my new interests. That was the beginning of the “Crossroads Nova” project. The overall plan for the Nova build was laid out. The Nova would rely on a Detroit Speed & Engineering front subframe, coupled with their rear QuadraLink to make the car handle. The drivetrain would consist of a LS powerplant; Tremec T56 Magnum 6 speed transmission; a narrowed Ford 9” rear end putting the power to the ground; and large Wilwood brakes to bring it all to a stop. This combination will be at home on the road, or on the track. Since I always build my cars to be driven, I’ll be adding some creature comforts to the build. A Vintage Air A/C system, comfortable seating that will make the highway miles a lot more enjoyable, and hold you in place on the track are a must. The major components were purchased, and the disassembly began. The 65 was disassembled, and the DSE front subframe installed.

The LS from the donor Camaro was test fit in the redesigned engine bay.

The ididit ProLite steering column was installed.

Fitting 18” wheels over the 14.5” Wilwood brakes proved to be a bit of an issue, but we got it work out with help from Boze Alloys.

Ford 9” rear end is prepped and assembled.

By that time, the shop was consistently busy, and the Crossroads project got put on the back, back, back burner. Other than rolling it into the trailer and sitting in our booth at various car events, it hasn’t been touched.

Well, the 65 is finally coming off the back burner, and onto the chassis table winter 2021/2022. The list of modifications/installations is long: installing new floors; DSE mini tubs; the DSE QuadraLink; weld-in subframe connectors notched into the floor; additional perimeter bracing; Pro-touring style rollcage; modifying the transmission tunnel for the T56 Magnum 6-speed; Dakota Digital gauges; Recaro bucket seats; a Vintage Air A/C system; Rick’s stainless steel fuel tank; and all the other stuff needed to pull this build off. We will be posting pictures of the progress, when the project is kick back into gear.

Stay Tuned!!

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